Thursday, March 31, 2016

channel through to America

In his autobiography, Life, Keith Richards talks about when he first met Mick Jagger when they were both about 17, in London, on the public transportation:

----------------- [excerpt] --------------------------- Did we hit it off?  You get in a carriage with a guy that's got Rockin' at the Hops by Chuck Berry on Chess Records, and The Best of Muddy Waters also under his arm, you are gonna hit it off.  He's got Henry Morgan's treasure.  It's the real shit.  I had no idea how to get hold of that. ...

"Where the hell did you get this?"  It was, always, all about records....And he said, "Well, I got this address."  He was already writing off to Chicago....It was a mail-order thing, like Sears, Roebuck. 

He'd seen this catalogue, which I had never seen.  And we just started talking.  He was still singing in a little band, doing Buddy Holly stuff, apparently....  I said, "Well, I play a little." 

I said, "Come on round, play some other stuff."  I almost forgot to get off at Sidcup because I was still copying down the matrix numbers of the Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records he happened to have with him.  Rockin' at the Hops:  Chess Records CHD-9259.

[excerpt 2] ---------------------- Mick and I must have spent a year, while the Stones were coming together and before, record hunting.  There were others like us, trawling far and wide, and meeting one another in record shops.  If you didn't have money you would just hang and talk. 

But Mick had these blues contacts.  There were a few record collectors, guys that somehow had a channel through to America before anybody else.  There was Dave Godin up in Bexleyheath, who had an in with Sue Records....

...Mick had seen Buddy Holly play at the Woolwich Granada....I was a yokel compared to Mick, in a way.  He had the London thing down ... studying at the London School of Economics, meeting a wider range of people. 

I didn't have the money; I didn't have the knowledge. 

I just used to read the magazines, like New Musical Express:  "Eddie Cochran appearing with Buddy Holly."  Wow, when I grow up I'll get a ticket.  Of course they all croaked before then.


{Life - Keith Richards - Back Bay Books - Little Brown - 2010}


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